If you want to work in labor relations, you will be working with the interface between collectivized labor - usually in the form of unions - and the management of the organization you are working for. It will be your job to implement labor relations agreements that have been negotiated between management and the unions. You will also help to prepare the management side of any negotiations for agreements, and for the resolution of disputes that are in discussion. You will re responsible for the interpretation and implementation of the agreements in terms of wages and salaries, working conditions and grievances.
Law and Regulations
Working in labor relations means that you have to have extensive knowledge of employment law, of the work practices in your industry, and of wages, pensions, benefits and union agreements. You will be working closely with union representatives and with people employed in your organisation, implementing agreements and explaining conditions.
Labor relations personnel usually have a degree in a relevant subject, such as law or industrial management, or human resources. You need the background given by your qualification in order to be able to interpret laws and regulations, and to give you credibility during negotiations and disputes.
This is an arduous but rewarding area of human resources management, and although the decline of the unions means that the traditional disputes that disrupted many companies tend to be a thing of the past, nevertheless there will always be a role for the labor relations professional to work as an interface between two sides of a labor dispute.
Publish date: February 10, 2011